Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Samuel Smith's India Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

904 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 904
Hads: 1,773
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 17.79%
Wants: 33
Gots: 144 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's India Ale Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 904 | Hads: 1,773
Photo of Antc2382
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a pint bottle

A: deep orange, nice foamy head but it quickly dissipates. S: vaguely hoppy, nothing explosive but pleasant. T: bitter fruit, malt forward, lacks the hoppiness of American IPAs. This is a classic English version of the India ale. Much more malt balanced. F: fairly crisp, could have used a slight tick in carbonation. O: good beer, not what I'm used to in modern IPAs but it's good. My least favorite Samuel Smith I've had so far though.

 464 characters

Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance was a nice hazy looking orange to brown color with a decent one finger white foamy head that settles down at a nice pace leaving a nice somewhat sticky lacing along the sides of the glass. The smell had a nice blend of sweet malts over top of some light bitter hops. The taste was mainly sweet malts. The palate sat about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Overall, I say this was a pretty good beer worthy of having again.

 507 characters

Photo of Spikester
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear gold with three fingers of ten minute head. Rings of lace appear on the sides of the nonic pint glass.
Smell is mostly bready malts with some herbal hop notes.
The taste is similar to the nose with the hops coming on stronger than the smell.
Mouthfeel is light to medium with ample carbonation. The finish is more bitter than sweet with a fairly dry finish.
Overall a nice English IPA. Has plenty of flavor for such a low abv of 5.0%.

 441 characters

Photo of Myotus
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle (dated 06Feb15) into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger's worth of white foam that halves itself after 25 seconds. Honey orange in color. There is a large quantity of both medium and small bubbles ascending to the foam head. There are a few small pieces of yeast floating around. Lacing is thin and high.
SMELL: Has strong sweet bready malt aromas that meet with mild aromas of plums, figs, and caramel along with hints of floral and earthy hops.
TASTE: Initial taste is of strong sweet bready malts and caramel flavors. Mild flavors of plums and figs enter right after. The taste symphony continues with the immediate following of mild floral and earthy hop flavors. As all flavors persist, subtle bitter hop flavors end this incredible brew.
FEEL: Full-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down incredibly smooth and creamy. Finishes with a subtle dryness.
NOTE: My first of its style. I have to say that I think I prefer the English IPAs over the American ones. I love malts and this was very malt heavy. It wasn't overpowered with hops like its American counterparts.

 1,116 characters

Photo of SometimesIfart
3.02/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Samuel Smith's India Ale.

Samuel Smith's is not a brewery that has ever impressed me. I understand that these are supposed tl be old timey pre craft explosion beers, but it usually doesn't work out for me. Got this for $1 a bottle at my local craft store. Not sure of age, but here we go.

Look - From a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a crystal clear amber with a finger of white head that pops down into nothingness giving off a soda like sound. Carbonation appears to be pretty low. No lacing remajns at the end of the drink.

Smell - Starts off highly malty to my surprise and the hops come in midway through the nostrils mostly grapefruit juice like in nature. Not getting much else here.

Taste - Virtually all low sweetness grapefruit juice. Bit of malt on the back end, but overqll not much going on here either.

Feel - Body is moderately full with no carbonation feel and no creamyness due to the fact the head didn't hold up at all.

Overall - A swing and another miss for me. Don't care for this brewery. Oh well, sue me.

 1,034 characters

Photo of zinklesmesh
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Never had an "original" IPA like this - I assume this is how IPAs were styled before they took over the craft brewing scene in the US. It's a very tasty, well-rounded beer. Some dark, toasty, biscuity malts, with some standard English hop flavor and just a little extra body and hop compared to a similar English pale ale. It has a peculiar sort of moldy toilety smell, but it tastes good. Nice mouthfeel, too. Creamy. If I were to compare it to something else I've had, it's like a more robust, stronger version of Bass.

 521 characters

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: amber body; effervescent; nice size frothy off-white head, long lasting, excellent lacing

Smell: pretty subdued overall, but can pick up biscuit malts and UK hops; pick up some orange

Taste: at first taste, I swear it was caramel apples, but not for very long; picked up biscuit malts and some light citrus; hops linger at the end; nice smooth, mellow flavor, not in your face like American IPAs.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied and well carbonated

Remarks: nice balanced beer; I'd have it again

 509 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; bronze in color; 1 finger off white head that receded slowly to a thin cap; very little lacing;

S: caramel, floral;

T: caramel is predominant; a floral hop character is present as well; finish is mildly bitter;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: flavor wasn't very complex and very little bitterness;

 350 characters

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant amber crowned by a clingy 2” off-white foam collar that slowly recedes.
S: bread and biscuit aromas
T: Biscuit malt flavors, a light caramel touch, a bitter hop accent on the finish.
F: Creamy, medium body and medium low carbonation.
O: A flavorful, easy to drink IPA

 292 characters

Photo of 303beer
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful looking beer poured. Clear amber copper color. Nice inch of head that is white and semi rocky. Umm nice rich malty flavor. Leaves some lacing. Has a lack of hops in it. Pretty much hood malty beer. Never fails, Sammy Smith makes good beer.

 249 characters

Photo of Kuaff
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

In my imperial pint glass at cellar temperature.

It has a clear sunset-orange color and a big three-centimeter or so, poofy white head.

There's not all that much to the aroma. Just a sweet, rich breadiness and a sweet, flowery scent of orange. More mellow and floral than the sharp, zesty citrus smell of American IPAs.

The flavor echoes what's going on in the aroma. First comes a sweet orange flavor with almost non-existent tartness or astringency. Then it's honey and white bread into the finish. Longer after a sip, I get some slight herbal, hops bitterness. Nothing wild or out-of-control here. Just a balanced harmony.

It's pretty full-bodied. Sort of a medium-fullness.

As far as milder ales go, I really like this. It's a mellow yet nuanced, well-integrated, kuaffable ale. And the sweet orange and honey combo is classically British.

 849 characters

Photo of ajchocholousek
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A relatively tame pour yields a thin soapy white head that dissipated quite quickly, leaving behind a few bigger bubbles and a touch of white. Beer is slick on the glass, showing no legs, and the head doesn't seem to want to cling either. Pours a medium golden color with just a bit of light orange tint. Good clarity.

Smell is very bready with notes of sweet graininess (reminescent of Stiegl) and a bit of fruity yeastiness. A faint faint faint touch of earthy hops in here, but really not much else coming out of this other than the malt.

Taste follows the nose, albeit with a somewhat firm hop bitterness up front as well. An earthy, spicy hop note carries through for a bit, but then falls off, finishing up quite dry with a slight residual bitterness on the tongue as well as some light fruity estery notes. Also, and I'm not quite certain if this is the sweetness/fruitiness of the yeast and malt speaking here, but I think I detect a faint hint of diacetyl butter

Overall this beer is fine. Nothing to write home about, but it drinks nicely, with no noticeable flaws other than perhaps the faintest bit of diacetly - but I could misreading it, as it is indeed faint. A nice, moderate English IPA.

 1,210 characters

Photo of NickSMpls
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice pour and slightly hazy color Light head fades quickly. Nice aroma with malts and bread. If your taste buds have evolved to handle a west coast double IPA or you enjoy slaming back a couple of Hopslams this beer is not for you. Well balanced and at 5% ABV it's worth it..

 282 characters

Photo of Beejay
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Light amber orange in color, with a medium amount of light tan head.

S: Flowery, grassy, and herbal. There is a lovely touch of caramel and bread in the finish

T: The herbal aroma continues into the flavor, with perhaps a touch of bitter lemon peel. Finish is caramel with a long lingering bitterness.

M: Medium in body, with fairly high carbonation.

O: Overall pretty decent, but there is something odd about the bitterness in this.

 445 characters

Photo of loubar
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

550 ml bottle from Cost Plus. Aroma of biscuit malt with a bit of hops. Hop-forward in flavor, but of the tame citrus variety, with minimal bitterness on a malty, biscuity base. Moderate carbonation and full-bodied. Flavorful throughout with a touch of dryness at the finish. So drinkable. A good example that a solid IPA doesn’t have to be over the top.

 356 characters

Photo of Greasy
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an orange/copper color with a two finger head that fizzled away to a ring sitting atop the beer.

S: Sweet malts up front. Hops are earthy.

T: Taste is a nice biscuit/cracker malt flavor with floral hops following in suit. Some lingering bitterness.

M: Nice body. Good carbonation.

O: A nice change of pace. The English IPA is an under appreciated style that gets picked last in a gym class full of American counterparts. This is a lovely beer that needs more respect.

 481 characters

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a very dark reddish gold that is clear and leaves a rich, excessively long lived head. I got tired of waiting for it to settle. Lacing is more like a thick curtain.

The nose is excellent and rich with nice earthy and floral ones of coriander, pine, lavender, citrus and camphor.

The taste is crisp and bold with a dominant bitter hop on top of a dry malt bed that has hints of apple, vanilla, pine and nutmeg.

The mouthfeel is very rich and perfect for delivering the complexity of this fine beer.

Overall this one is exceptionally good and very enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

 601 characters

Photo of CIBoy10
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So yeah, it isn't that hop-forward compared to most American IPAs. It also has the same distinct wang as the Chocolate and Oatmeal stouts (which is not a bad thing - I find Unibroue to have the same theme). However, this is a solid beer. Not a great one, but certainly not a bad one. Would I buy again? Probably not - I like my IPAs like I like my sports - AMERICAN

 365 characters

Photo of thetravelguy01
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This was a very enjoyable beer to drink! Citrus flavor with just small amount of hops. I believe a person who doesn't like hops would enjoy this beer. This would be great for a nice summer day, nice crisp and clean easy to drink beer.

 234 characters

Photo of rjplumer
3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Fruity hop aroma. Mild brown body.An off white head. Smooth clear taste. Mild sweetness. Hint of of a citrus-like tang in the background. A little plain but very drinkable.Faint sour after taste.

 195 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.39/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear golden amber color with a two finger head of thick white foam. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading to leave a decent level of sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is big of a bready smell mixed with a moderate showing of an earthy hop aroma. Along with these smells comes some notes of caramel and a light fruity aroma of peach and apple as well as some notes of a grassy and herbal hop.

Taste – The taste begins with a somewhat bready and cracker flavor with some light flavors of an herbal and earthy hop. These hop flavors grow slightly stronger in nature with the herbal being the more intense of the two. There is a little bit of a pear and peach as well as a light caramel flavor that are at the forefront of the taste, which end up fading a bit as the taste moves forward. With a little bit of a floral hop and even more herbal hop as well as a hint of grain, one is left with a rather herbal and dank, but crisp taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner side while a carbonation level is rather average. For the style a little thicker body may have been slightly better for the hop, but while said, the thinner body did actually do a rather decent job for the more crisp and malty flavors of the brew; so overall the feel was decent.

Overall – A more dank but rather easy drinking IPA. A little to thin and dank for me, but a easy drinker non the less and a rather fun one to try.

 1,584 characters

Photo of JohnnyI
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As an encore to their Oatmeal Stout in the variety pack, I went with this English style IPA next. Poured in to their signature Samuel Smith pint glass, the beer puts forth a rising head of spongy off white foam. 3 fingers of froth rests atop a tangerine-orange brew of notable clarity. Tons of lacing hangs around as the foam dissipates. Beautiful appearance. The aroma gives off biscuit malts and only traces of hops. Certainly not nearly as aromatic as its American brethren. Despite the lack of a pronounced hop bouquet, it is still hop-forward in the flavor department. But of the tame citrus variety, with minimal bitterness. They definitely put a leash on it. A touch of toffee and some metallic accents that zing your tongue.There's some orange sweetness, light pine, and fruity esters to round out the flavors. The pleasant and slightly dry aftertaste conjures thoughts of herbal tea, and there's a good mix of malt and hops. The beer is effervescent with a juicy feel. A pretty solid body given its relative lack of weight. Overall, I think we Americans have been spoiled with mega-IPA's that obliterate your senses. This is a refreshing and easy alternative with a historic pedigree and distinguished character. Hopheads may find this leaving them a little wanting, but if you can appreciate it for what it is, it's great. Balanced, refined. A true classic.

 1,367 characters

Photo of tonecoleman
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a large bubbly creamy head, not much aroma. Light malt flavour with moderate carbonation and a nice clean dry slightly bitter finish. Found this unexeptional, but overall well balanced flavours and quite an enjoyable pint.

 234 characters

Photo of Catracho5
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce bottle poured into a Samuel Smith tulip glass

A: A golden, clear color with a nice creamy white head, lots of lacing on this beer.

A: More malts than hops on the nose, not very hoppy, but I usually drink west coast style IPAs and IIPAs, so my nose is more accustomed to that aroma. Not picking up much.

T: Very nice, getting a nice, mellow bitterness upfront, malty, biscuity in the middle, finishes dry with a mild bitterness at the end. It's got a great flavor.

M: Medium dry mouthfeel

O: This is really good beer and I think it deserves a better score. I think the challenge for us American IPA drinkers is that we drink hopped up versions and we drink an English IPA and think something is missing, at least, that is my own experience. But if I am ever looking for an IPA that is not hoppy, I'll reach for this, it's good, balanced, and has quality.

 867 characters

Photo of ryho
4.85/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Today I bought the Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout (94), and the India Ale (83), and I feel like the scores of those on this site should be reversed. I think this IPA is fantastic. It isn't like most IPAs that get high reviews here, but it is none the less extremely good. The taste of this IPA reminds me of honey in a very good way, and it is so drinkable.

 353 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
84 out of 100 based on 904 ratings.